GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - (Page 36)

toddler town Grand prix: zero to 3 By Ruth NathaN Grandparents who provide day care can be early education heroes. A “ Every time we work with our grandchildren, we’re helping them see what we value. fter age 3,” say developmental experts Betty Hart and Todd Risley, authors of Meaningful Differences, “the unique circumstances for learning are gone.” (By “unique” they mean that during the early years of a child’s life much is learned through interaction—through the words and actions of their caregivers. More and more frequently, especially as the cost of preschool skyrockets for our working children, those caregivers are us. Hart and Risley say that through our body language, deeds and what we say, children learn what the world means, and so grow cognitively; they learn who they are, and so grow socially; they learn what is valued, and so grow emotionally. So, let’s explore some ways we can help our grandchildren to grow cognitively, socially and emotionally. ter, the effects of erosion by water, how hand and body coordination affects the scooter-truck’s movement down the sidewalk trail, how pushing affects motion and how pulling does, too. A trip to a local museum gets the mind wandering to faraway places. Where do these animals come from? Are they real? Alive? How come these rocks are lined up just so, and why do some sparkle? Watch the ants build their nest, leaf by leaf. Aren’t they colorful? The leaves, I mean. What’s over there? A trip to a creek in the neighborhood means lots of fun getting wet. It means sticks poke into mud to uncover beetle bugs rolled up. It means leaves float and rocks sink. It means that being close to nature has a certain sound, a certain smell, a certain quiet. A trip to the grocery store leads to talk about a healthy lunch or ingredients needed to bake a pie. What the world means: cognitive development. Where do stars come from? How do carrots grow? Why will I go to school? Are you really my mommy’s mommy? To both answer questions and encourage more question-asking, try both good books and small outings. Nearby parks offer opportunities to explore balance, the relationship between sand and wa- Who they are: social development. Our grandchildren are big brothers or sisters, friends to some, and playmates to many. They are sons and daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students in preschool, and partners in adventure. They are explorers and pirates when they want to be, and they are scared and silly and happy when they want to be, too. When we agree to play pirate, we agree to their 36 GRAND FEBRUARY 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - February 2009

GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND Central
On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
Get a Job!
The Healthy Crib
Movin’ to the G’Kids
Closing In
10 Disney Secrets
Just the Family We Are
Grand Prix: 0-3
Left Behind
Cycle Safe
GRAND Finale

GRAND Magazine - February 2009